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Boys HS Club Week 16 Rankings Analysis


Boys HS Club Week 16 Rankings Analysis

Granite Bay, not ranked super-high, but could we be wrong? Dan Bandoni photo.

The headline is the question, and generally I'd have to say, yes, I do.

That doesn't mean I don't make a lot of mistakes, but as I also say, the results make the rankings somewhat self-correcting.

So here goes with some HS Club rankings questions and answers:

Is Fort Hunt the best team in the nation? Yes, yes they are, and they will remain so until someone proves us wrong. That could happen in the Boys HS Rugby National Championships, and could be proven by any number of teams, quite frankly.

How tight is it at the top? Really tight. A team could win a game and move up ten or 15 spots. A team could lose a game and do the same.

Why are teams from my state not ranked very high, even the ones that are undefeated? It's because you don't play outside your region. Or, if a team has played outside, it has struggled. Mostly, it's the former. We have all kinds of difficulty measuring the quality of teams if they play no one but those in their league. That's why Fort Hunt, Doylestown, Danville, and Royal Irish get ranked highly on a regular basis. We (I) do rank some teams that aren't big travelers, such as West Valley, or Woodlands, but they sometimes have second-generation outside results - that is, they played teams that played outside the state.

This approach has hurt the rankings of several regions, most notably, in my opinion, my home state of Washington. Now for years I said that Rugby Washington may not have a lot of teams, but they have a lot of quality. I pointed to the fact that, unlike in many leagues were national team players usually come from one or two clubs or schools, in Washington, Budd Bay, Chuckanut, Eastside, West Seattle, and Tacoma have all produced USA players, and Liberty will likely be able to boast of one pretty soon. And not that long ago Washington teams succeeded on the national level.

But of late these teams haven't toured much, and haven't played US teams outside the Pacific Northwest. It makes it much harder to judge them, and I get the feeling the insulation is not helping them. 

Who could I be wrong about? Several teams. United and Granite Bay, I think, will show well at Nationals. Chargers, Harpeth, and Liberty might all deserve a higher ranking. I'd say the same about Okapi, however they opted recently not to play at Nationals, and that is a shame. 

See the new Boys HS Club Rankings here.